Comparative Political Research


Course Objective

This course presents an overview of the field of Comparative Political

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding – The student has acquired knowledge and
understanding of:
(1) the central debates within Comparative Political Research.

Application – The student has acquired the competences to:
(2) understand the features and trade-offs of applications of different
strands of comparative research (both qualitative and quantitative).

Making judgements - The student is able to:
(3) evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the main types of
comparative research and how they may complement each other.

Communication. The student has acquired the skills to:
(4) write a research design for a comparative case study which is
theoretically relevant and methodologically sound (and feasible). The
design is based on deliberate choices on key methodological issues such
as internal and external validity, conceptualization, measurement and

Course Content

In this course students will contrast approaches to doing Comparative
Political Research and make a design for a comparative case study
themselves. These tasks will help students to gain the basic skills
necessary for performing comparative research and to set up a research

Teaching Methods

The course will be taught in the form of lectures and tutorials.
The tutorials provide students with the opportunity to discuss their
preliminary answers to the assignments. The more students prepare and
participate in the tutorials, the more feedback they receive in return.

Method of Assessment

Written assignments (85%).

The course requires active participation which includes attendance (1%),
meeting deadlines (1%), presentations (3%) and peer reviews (10%).


Main Textbook (To be purchased):
Gerring, J. (2017). Case Study Research. Principles and Practices.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2nd Edition.

In addition students will read a number of articles and book chapters.

Target Audience

2nd year bachelor students in Political Science.
Also open as an elective course. for VU-students and Exchange Students.

Additional Information

Each week there is one lecture and one tutorial (and/or feedback by

General Information

Course Code S_CPR
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator dr. P.J.M. Pennings
Examiner dr. P.J.M. Pennings
Teaching Staff dr. P.J.M. Pennings

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: